Learning Through Play

GROUP TIME

Photo of group playing in sandbox** When I participate in talking about the activity choices of the day…I learn to understand the general time sequence of the day and to make decisions on where to play with activities and projects.

** When I sing a song with my friends…I learn to appreciate the diverse sounds of music, to move in time to its rhythms, and to build my auditory memory or words and melodies.

** When I hear the teacher reading a story…I learn to listen, to exercise my imagination, to expand my vocabulary, and to appreciate the importance and enjoy the pleasures of reading books- a love for reading that will continue to grow over a life time. 

SENSORY TABLE

**When I scoop and pour sand…I learn the beginning mathematical concepts of measurements, quantity and volume.

**When I mix water with the sand…I learn to pursue the science of examining natural substances, noting their physical properties, and experimenting with the changes in those properties.

**When I play beside my friends…I learn to develop the skills in social conversation and interaction.

ART CENTER

**When I scribble and draw with markers or crayons… I learn to hold and manipulate writing and drawing tools with increasing control and intention and to express my ideas and feelings.

** When I create a painting at the easel…I learn about math and science concepts of shape, texture, form, color and how my mind and hands work together to create.

** When I squeeze, pound, roll, and cut play-doh…I learn to strengthen my small muscles of my hand to develop basic mathematical concepts of shape and measurement. 

BLOCK CENTER

** When I spend a long time working on my building…I learn to select, plan and work constructively on a project to sustain my attention to a task and feel pride in my work.

** When I negotiate with my friends about where and how to build a road…I learn to share the ideas and the materials, to use language effectively to solve problems, and to work and plan cooperatively with others.

**When I put the blocks away on labeled shelves…I learn to use size and shape concepts to match, sort and classify objects in sets which are important concepts in mathematical reasoning. 

BOOK CENTER

** When I hear the teacher reading a story…I learn to listen, to exercise my imagination, to expand my vocabulary, and to appreciate the importance and enjoy the pleasures of reading books- a love for reading that will continue to grow over a life time. 

**When I answer questions about “What might happen next?” … I learn to comprehend the sequence of ideas in a story and to use reasoning to anticipate upcoming events.

** When I dictate my own story for a teacher to record…I learn to create stories to express my own ideas and feelings and to associate print on a page with spoken works or “talk written down.” 

SCIENCE and DISCOVERY CENTER

** When I examine and sort the natural objects on display…I learn to observe, identify, compare, contrast, and classify objects using concepts such as size, weight, color and texture.

** When I play with balanced scale and assortment of things from nature…I learn to solve problems through investigation, experimentation and risk taking.

**When I plant seeds in a cup and measure their progress overtime…I learn to appreciate the wonders of science, to observe and record changes overtime and to reason about cause and effect. 

DRAMATIC PLAY

**When I pretend to be a grown up…I learn to understand, appreciate and accept the diversity of adult roles in my family, my community, and my world.

**When I invent the roles I play…I learn to stretch my imagination and to expand my vocabulary, to think creatively and to experiment with language and conversation.

**When I join friends in pretend play…I learn to engage in social conversation, to cooperate with my peers and to experiment with sharing and solving problems. 

OUTDOORS

**When I play on our natural playground…

     *Infant playground allows the children to:

            Experience daily weather/climate changes

            Explore various textures- grass, mulch, flowers, etc.

Further develop gross motor skills in a different environment than the classroom  

            Stimulate all of the infants senses     

*Toddler playground allows the children to engage in all of the opportunities as the infants, as well as:

Opportunities to develop coordination- hand-eye, gross motor skills

Natural setting to develop the whole child; social, emotional, physical, & cognitive

            Life skills of caring for plant/bug life

            Decision making skills

            Expressing themselves creatively-

            Exploring water/dirt/sand/grass and its characteristics

     *Preschool playground includes all of the previous, as well as:

            Life experience raising plants/crops

            Teamwork and problem solving skills

Continued growth of motor skills through play and real life experience

Heightened observation and documentation skills of changes within nature

            Creative expression through the dramatic play area provided

            Cause and effect skills

            Respect for all creatures in nature

Field of Dreams has participated in N.C. State University's Natural Learning Initiative.  Check it out here.